Chorleywood 256-9, Knebworth Park 214 all out
After hauling themselves back into the game with a terrific recovery, Knebworth Park ended 43 runs short at home to Chorleywood in Saracens Herts League Division One on Saturday.
The visitors were racing away to a potentially impregnable total at 162 for 2 off 28 overs before there was a dramatic twist that saw them only manage 92 off the last 22 overs for the loss of seven wickets.
Chorleywood’s Ryan Evans had cracked a fluent 77 but was being restricted by the medium pace of Lewis Hutchinson when he set off for a sharp run to the bowler’s brother, Matt, who fired in a razor-sharp direct hit for a brilliant run out.
Soon after, Evans partner Ed Lye (34) who had supported him in a commanding stand of 117 in 20 overs was caught by Mason Tewkesbury off Lewis Hutchinson who turned in a crucial spell of 2 for 41.
Tewkesbury then pulled off an amazing catch to put the brakes on the innings before Matt Hutchinson also produced a vital spell to finish with 2 for 23 that pegged the total to 256 for 9.
A last wicket stand of 31 frustrated the Park and proved a factor in the defeat.
With the Park missing several first-choice players, skipper Guy Warman promoted himself to open the batting and while he was at the crease, the Park were looking in good shape for victory as he struck a quickfire 50.
The innings then stumbled against some nagging bowling with David Steadman (42) and Charlie Randall (43) in a stand of 86 for the fifth wicket steadily putting them in a position to make a late assault for victory.
But both were outdone by the late introduction of Guy Manson-Bishop whose 4 for 32 snuffed out the Park’s victory ambitions as they wilted to 214 all out, picking up 16 consolation points in the process.
KPCC II 204 all out, Chipperfield Clarendon 207-2
A below-par performance with the bat cost the Seconds dear at Chipperfield Clarendon.
They posted 204 all out, mainly thanks to a sparkling half-century from in-form skipper Jono Evetts.
The Park should have powered on against a decent but unthreatening bowling attack yet failed to build enough partnerships to pose a commanding total.
And on a flat track and a baked outfield it proved 70 runs short as the home side cruised home for an eight-wicket win with 11 overs to spare.
Evetts won the toss and chose to bat but the Park suffered an early setback when Rob Morley was adjudged LBW in the first over.
But the Park recovered well and were in command and well placed at 109-2 when Ian Pickering (28) feathered a wide loose ball to the keeper.
The pivotal moment came when Evetts was also adjudged caught behind for an excellent 70.
From there, the Park failed to press on and, despite some fine late blows from Nick English in his fighting 37, were bowled out with nearly ten overs still to go.
In reply, Chipperfield also lost a wicket in the first over, with the opener edging to slip off the impressive Ollie O’Brien.
But Park were short of bowling and, with too few runs in the bank, could not exert any scoreboard pressure.
Chipperfield opener Scott Norwood played well to steer them to victory, completing a fine century with a carve over point to wrap up the 30 points.
Knebworth Park III 183 all out, Pirton 185-2
An excellent 68 from Bobbi Orlandi wasn’t enough for the severely depleted Thirds as they lost by eight wickets to fellow strugglers Pirton.
After choosing to bat Park began to accumulate runs steadily with Orlandi holding the innings together.
A partnership of 46 with Ben Childs (27) took the Park up to 145 and after Orlandi was dismissed, some big hitting from Ben Amies (29) took the Park up to 183 before they were dismissed in the 45th over.
With a competitive although probably slightly below par score on the board, the Park response got off to an excellent start as openers Ian Woods (1-33) and Kunal Sharma (1-41) picking up an early wicket each to leave Pirton on 25-2.
This was as good as it got though for Park as despite some near misses and close calls, Pirton cruised to their total in 36 overs without losing any more wickets.
With another defeat recorded against a relegation rival, the situation is looking bleak for the Thirds who will have to hope they can regain the form that was so promising at the start of the season.
Knebworth Park IV 258-6, Hitchin IV 186 all out
A brilliant partnership of 132 for the second wicket between Phil Wheeler with a career best 78 and Matt Inman (92 not out) on his first appearance of the season set the fourth team en route to a 72-run win over Hitchin.
James Roos pitched in with a useful 27 to lift the total to 258 for 5.
The home side’s batsmen were restricted by the bowling of James Roos, Bella Hopcraft and Richard Wheeler before the father and daughter combination of skipper Jonathan (2 for 42) and Catherine Cirkel (4 for 12) ensured a comfortable victory as the Hitchin’s run chase ended on 186 all out.